Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the attacks on a police headquarters and a prison in Owerri, Imo State, Southeast Nigeria.
The heavily-armed attackers invaded the Owerri Correctional Centre at midnight on Monday, blowing up the facility to gain entrance.
A total of 1,844 inmates in custody were released during the attack.
The assailants attacked the State Police Headquarters where they freed detainees in the cell of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) and torched vehicles parked on the premises.
The police said no one died in the attack on its headquarters but a police officer sustained bullet wounds.
Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of the Police, said a preliminary investigation showed the attacks were carried out by members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
In his reaction to the incident, Buhari directed security and intelligence agencies in the state and the geo-political zone to go after “the terrorists, apprehend them and get them punished under the full weight of the law.”
According to a statement by Garba Sheu, the President’s spokesperson, Buhari also “called for the best efforts to be made to re-arrest fleeing prison detainees, many of whom are believed to be deadly criminals.”
“The President praised the initial response by security guards and security forces for preventing greater loss of life and the destruction of public property,” the statement read in part.
“President Buhari then appealed to members of the public to assist the law enforcement agencies with any relevant information that could lead to the apprehension of these criminals who perpetrated this despicable act.”
“He also urged members of the public to be vigilant as all of us have a stake in preserving our way of life from disruption by terrorists and anarchists while the Federal Government will use every available tool at its disposal to confront and terminate this bare-faced anarchy.”
The Nigerian leader is currently away in London, the United Kingdom for a medical check-up.
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